18-year old Vishesh Khakhar is an adventurous young person, and the upcoming trip to Bhutan is one that he is pinning a lot of hopes on. That hardly comes as a surprise - after all, going backpacking alone on the hills has to be on everyone's wishlist, and Vishesh is on his way to embark on a trip of a lifetime.
Ask him about what really prompted him to join the van, and Vishesh has a really interesting answer. "Bhutan is one of the happiest and greenest places on the planet, and who wouldn't want to be part of a workshop conducted by monks themselves!" That, though, is not his only motivation, and the young mind has a more mature statement to make behind his upcoming trip.
"I haven't stepped out of my comfort zone in a while now, and I believe that a person can only find their true self outside the comfort zone. Growing up in a city, I miss the natural surroundings that get me elated and that's what Bhutan has to offer."
Don't take him to be too grave, though. He has a third motive behind joining us, "The food. I live for trying unique and unheard-of cuisines."
In this age of social media and protected upbringing, even camping has taken a different meaning. An art that was once all about climbing up to steep, distant villages and spending some time with local culture and nature has also turned into a comfortable show of ample time in hand and a matter of leisure. At Bhutan, while there will be ample leisure to let your mind wander, there will be no added luxuries to make the camp feel like any other outing. This, incidentally, is also what Vishesh is optimistic about.
"I'm looking forward to learning from a new culture I know nothing about. My previous camp was with my classmates from school but this upcoming trip will push me to make new friends, something I've always been nervous about. This trip will push me out of my comfort zone in all aspects."
As for the venue itself, there's no shortage of reasons to love it, and Vishesh agrees even more. "I've always loved Northern India and I'm sure Bhutan will be similar to it. The idea of towering mountains and pristine rivers excite me. I've never been there before hence I'm so eager. I've always wanted to explore such hilly regions and monasteries along with the adventures that await me!" A stickler for adventures, Vishesh's most exciting trip so far was when he was 13, where he did shark cage diving in South Africa. Bhutan, meanwhile, would be completely different for Vishesh, and give him a completely different side to growing up and touring the world.
Among other things, Vishesh is also excited about the workshops at the Bhutan camp.
"It is very fascinating to be learning how to be happy from people that are so satisfied in life with the bare minimum that they have; on the contrary we have so much to ourselves yet we cannot remain satisfied. It is something that I want to learn from the monks and apply it in my daily life."
We are all set to embark on the journey of a lifetime, and the excitement is palpable. Come join us, as we delve into a trip like no other.